Home » Featured, Photos, Trailwork, Videos

Rough Rider Switchback Addition Complete!

11 September 2009 No Comment
Skolnick and Kondrat standing on the days work

Skolnick and Kondrat standing on the day's work

Since the opening of the Highbridge trails in May 2007, we’ve had a few major projects on the “to-do” list that we’ve meant to tackle but just hadn’t found the time or the manpower to accomplish. One of those was building up the switchback on Rough Rider to make the steep rock climb more, well, climbable. The previous iteration of the switchback dipped down and required riders to climb a longer steep pitch, but our plan was to raise the level of the switchback by 3 feet so and lessen the grade so that it wouldn’t be an automatic hike-a-bike for everyone.

This past March, Chris Skolnick and I started on the project as a two-man crew, harvesting rocks from around and above the switchback, and moving them into place. With two people, we didn’t get very far. On our next work day in June, Antony joined us, and the three of us managed to move more rocks into place, raising the overall level a bit more. It was slow and tedious work that killed backs and twisted ankles. Chris and I turned out for solo work at various points over the summer, but barely made a dent in the remaining work. This past Saturday, however, a crew of 12 turned out for our Highbridge trailwork day, and the project hit high gear.

With this healthy crew (a cast of the Summer Sprint regulars) our rock gathering accelerated and we moved at least 50 wheelbarrows worth of dirt into place on the switchback, finally accomplishing our goal of raising the turning platform. From below, the turn is now a consistent climb up to the base of the steep rock pitch, rather than dropping down several feet before climbing back up that pitch. Riders can set up wide and gun it into the climb with the speed to succeed.

After we completed the project, everyone took turns trying to clean the new climb- a daunting task for most of us in workboots trying to ride on clipless pedals! Luckily, we caught the hilarity on video:

Nice work by Leandro and Pablo cleaning the climb!

Next time you’re at Highbridge, give that climb a try, and check out the handiwork of our dedicated group of volunteer!

Big thanks to the folks who made it happen- Chris Skolnick, Antony Kondrat, Daniel Ingerdal, Pablo Toribio, Leandro Germosen, Ivan Germosen, Genaro Cespedes, Luis Rivera, Stephen Jones and Joe Hernandez.

The results from the March and June work days:

The added rocks in June.

Rocks backbreakingly lifted and dropped into place.

Last Saturday’s work, from the bottom:

The first climb in has be re-armored

The first climb in has be re-armored

The low line which repeatedly eroded away has been replaced with a higher and reinforced line over the rock.

The low line which repeatedly eroded away has been replaced with a higher and reinforced line over the rock.

The switchback platform is now a constant rise from the point it passes the tree, rather than dipping down then back up.

The switchback platform is now a constant rise from the point it passes the tree, rather than dipping down then back up.

We doubled the height of the switchback

We doubled the height of the switchback

Looking down from the top

Looking down from the top

Comments or questions? Hit the NYCMTB Forum!

-JB

Comments are closed.